Audi suspends engineers implicated in emissions scandal
Audi has reportedly suspended two engineers implicated in the ongoing emissions scandal.
Parent Volkswagen Group has faced most of the criticism for implementing ‘defeat’ software to circumvent emissions regulations in the US and abroad. VW developed the smaller diesel engine that accounts for most of the non-compliant vehicles, however the larger non-compliant 3.0-liter V6 engine was engineered by Audi.
VW initially denied that its V6 powerplant employed a defeat system, arguing that a legal software provision “had not been adequately described” by the company during the Environmental Protection Agency certification process. Despite the statement, the EPA and California Air Resources Board claim the software violates US emissions regulations.
Following the latest revelations, Audi chairman Berthold Huber claims “the causes for such grave mistakes must be found and eliminated, according to a statement published by Reuters. At least two engineers have been suspended as the company continues its internal investigation.
“The Air Resources Board today sent an In Use Compliance letter notifying Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche to start the process necessary to recall and repair illegal emissions software in all 3-liter diesel vehicles, model years 2009 – 2015, sold in California,” CARB said in a statement. “This action is the result of an admission by officials at Audi A.G., manufacturer of all the engines involved, that the vehicles contain three undisclosed auxiliary emissions control devices.”
Affected models include certain Audi A7, A8 and A8L sedans, along with the Q5, Q7, VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne crossovers. Unlike the models outfitted with the smaller EA 189 engine, the V6-powered vehicles were built with a urea-injection system to help remove nitrogen oxides. A simple software revision appears to be sufficient to bring the vehicles back into compliance, though it is unclear if the modification will affect fuel consumption or performance.
Audi, VW and Porsche have 45 business days to finalize a recall plan and submit the details to the CARB.